Tuesday, 8 March 2011


please check it out and let me know your thoughts :-)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

I hearby christen sundays as face mask days!

This morning I decided I would do a face mask and give my skin a bit of TLC. I used this one from Neals Yard Remedies.

I always use things on my face from either NYR or lush...purely because they both use completely natural ingredients in their products. If you are going to use something on your face and body the idea of it having lots of nasty chemicals in it is not in the least appealing to me! I guess its sort of the difference between eating fresh organic foods and eating KFC or something every day, no? There are also the selfless reasons too; these two companies are both very ethical - lush's products are all entirely vegetarian, and NYR uses organic ingredients. Yes they are slightly more pricey - the face mask I used cost £25 (Christmas Present). However it's such good quality and very good value for money...I would estimate I get about 25 uses out of each pot, which averages out as £1 per face mask...not bad!

Anyway, this morning I used this Rose Antioxidant Face Mask from neals yard, and boy does my face feel lovely and soft and pampered now. It's put me in such a good mood. And also, reminds me that my body is worth taking care of. So often I neglect it because I think I'm not worth using nice products on. I used to moisturise my body every day, and now it's as if some part of my brain tells me that if I moisturise, that means I am accepting myself, which I don't. Weird or what. This mornings little pamper session has made me vow to myself to take better care of my body in the future, because it does deserve it, and because it feels good, and because it makes me feel so much better about myself and puts me in a much better mood!

So join me for face mask sundays and inject some positivity into your day :-)


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Every Rose Has It's Thorn

I know I did a quote from this Poison song a few weeks ago, but I was watching old episodes of glee today and their rendition of this came on...this line in particular really hit home and struck me that it might be a good blog post.

We all have days where we can only see the negative in ourselves. Be it our appearance, our personality or relationships, sometimes we just feel like crap. I have days where I just feel so miserable and weak and like I am such an inadequate person and should be stronger than I am...but recently I have tried to remind myself that this isn't how I feel all of the time. None of us are perfect, we all have days when we are a bit of a naff person to be around, but that doesn't mean we are any less valid as a person. Roses are possibly the most beautiful flower in the world, and yet ever single one of them has at least one thorn. Does this make it any less beautiful? Of course not! In fact, when we look at a rose, we don't even notice the thorns as we are too busy looking at the wonderful flower. So it is with our imperfections. Someone doesn't look at us and see the negatives, the things wrong with us, our flaws, our weaknesses...instead they see the positive attributes, and all the lovliness. No one searches for the worst in us, they all just see the best. Roses symbolise love. Yet they are not perfect. This should remind us that we are loved, and CAN be loved, despite everything. One of the things that happens with my depression is that I get so focussed on how much of a rubbish friend or sister or daughter I am being, and how nobody must get anything positive out of me and I just drain from people. This is ludicrous! My family still love me to bits despite my problems and struggles.

My mum once told me that I was her little flower. She says I just needed to be loved and nurtured and taken care of, and that one day I will blossom into a beautiful person. I like that imagery, it gives me hope and makes me realise that just because we are covered in thorns or weeds, it doesn't mean that a wonderful person isn't still there underneath.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Lush is where it's at!

Today I am deviating from the usual quote - mostly because I want to do a post about the lush bath I just had, and try as I might I cannot find any famous/motivational/inspirational quotes or song lyrics with anything about a bath in them.

So...fridays are my super long day, leave the house at 6.10am and get back at 7.10pm. I am always so tired when I get back, and tonight I am home alone, so I decided to run myself a niiiice long bath to relax into. I love love love lush baths, and I would have two or three a day if I could! I do have one most days, sometimes two if it's a particularly bad day, and they are such a good mood lifter. Having a bath is one of the only things that enables me to relax and switch off, and it reminds me to look after my body. I get so excited picking what to have - if you are a lush virgin, you MUST go and check out the website - immediately!

Last year it became a ritual of mine to have one of the bath ballistics called 'ne worry pas' from the retro (retired oldies which everyone loves so you can still get them online)

The idea is that you whisper any worries that you have into the little hole and watch them fizz away!

Anyway, I digress...today I had my absolute favourite bubble bar: flosty gritter. Unfortunatley, it has been discontinued and not appeared on the retro section of the site, so I have been saving it for real emergency cases. Tonight was definitely an emergency case if ever there was one: long day, home alone, panicked about work... enter flosty gritter. Here is a picture of the bar

And here is a picture - not by me - of it in the bath

It's a sensual vanilla and lavendar bath, and it foams up like you wouldn't believe, and also there is lots of glitter! (Beware, you only need half the bar). I also like the name of flosty gritter - apparently it was named in a half mocking way at a Japanese employee who kept calling the 'frosty glitter' 'flosty gritter!'. cute or what.

I feel so positive and happy and refreshed after a bath, definitely something to do when you are feeling a bit miserable. A few more of my faves are: phoenix (retro) - good for when you want a fresh start, twilight (ballistic) so relaxing, amandapondo (bubble bar) combined with tisty tosty (ballistic) both smell of rose, sakura (ballistic) creates Japanese cherry blossom in your bath, space girl (ballistic) shaped like a flying saucer and smells of palma violets, ma bar (bubble bar) mmmm chocolatey, fizzbanger (ballistic) very uplifting...the list goes on and on.

I must love you and leave you now

Thursday, 3 March 2011

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You haven't failed until you quit trying

I read this little gem of a quote today and it really hit home....I haven't posted on here for a while because I have been struggling horrendously again at the moment. In fact, I can't remember a time when I wasn't struggling. My degree is really suffering, and so is everything else, and I must admit I found it hard to think of anything positive at all to post on here. Enter the quote of the day 'You haven't failed until you quit trying'. And I realised something...I'm not ready to quit trying yet - hooray for that! And even better, that means that I haven't failed yet - double hooray!!!

I know that this blog is supposed to provide inspiration and happiness, but I really think that some comfort can be provided in me just explaining a little about how badly I have been doing lately. This isn't to spread misery and dispair, trust me that's the last thing I want to do, but because I know that if it were me reading this blog, I would take comfort in the fact that someone else is having a rough time too, and I would feel less alone. Their strength would give me strength. And so I hope my words can be for any of you out there struggling at the moment...

Well where to begin....my depression has come back with a-vengence, and my binge eating too. Not that they really ever went away, but I seem to be able to 'keep them at bay' some times better than others. I was alone in the house last week while my mum and sister went away for half term, and I didn't leave the house for the entire week. I missed a weeks worth of lectures - which, in a maths degree, is a hell of a lot of lectures! I missed my second test so far this term, and my second missed assessment hand in. I didn't see anyone all week. And oh boy did I binge. This week hasn't been too much better despite the return of my mum and sister. I am drowning in work, and all the time my mum is telling me to seek help etc, but I just don't have the energy. I have my dissertation draft in next week, and 3 tests, and I am so far behind in lectures I just don't see how it will be feasible. The only silver lining is that I only have 4 more weeks left ever - but its not actually silver lining, as that means 6 weeks until my exams which are 80% of my degree. And not only do I have to revise, I have to pretty much learn the material from scratch. I really don't think I can do it, I really don't...but on the plus side, I haven't quite given up just yet. Oh and to top all that, my brother is getting married in 8 weeks and everyone is preparing and excited except me...I am still gaining weight...

But, as I keep saying, I am not going to quit trying. I have been searching far and wide for some self help groups recently. I am finding it harder and harder to discuss things with friends and family, partly because I hate leaning on them so often for so long, partly because I hate them constantly seeing this weak version of me, and partly because, quite simply, a lot of the stuff they just don't understand. Anyway, I have found a depression self help group I am going to try, but they only run every fortnight. I have also decided to try an eating issues support group. *takes deep breath and hopes no judgement is passed*...I have decided to go to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. I have been considering it for a while, and all the literature I have read and advice I have seeked has just served to convince me that my bingeing problems are exactly like an addiction. I don't adhere to the treatments which claim the bingeing needs to be 'phased' out. For some that may work. But for me, food is like alcohol is to an alcoholic. I need to try each day at a time, and not give myself any excuses like 'I haven't done it in a while so I can today'. Food becomes all consuming for me; walking into a shop feels akin to an alcoholic walking into a bar...there is so much temptation everywhere. and oh my desperation to be ABLE to binge some times throws my moral compass right out the window. I have stolen (from my family), both food and money to get food, I have spent money I don't have and got into trouble with the bank, I have spent money which was given to me to get my doctors note...etc etc. This isn't me! I know someone who has had similar problems to me: anorexia, depression, binge eating, and she goes to AA meetings and has done for years and says that the strength and support is invaluable. So i decided to look for a local AA or OA meeting, and found one not far from here on a saturday morning - perfecto. I am going this saturday, and I am going to see it through. I am also going to go to the depression alliance self help groups fortnightly, but the next one isn't until the following weekend.

One final thing I have decided to do, which I won't say much about as I realise that religion isn't for everyone, is attend the monthly 'healing mass' at our church. I am a Catholic and already go to church each sunday, but on the first tuesday of every month our church has a healing mass, and I have decided to start going each month.

Anyway, just thought I would update you...and remind you that no matter how much we fall down, or how often, the most important thing to do, and the most amazing sign of our strength is that we keep picking ourselves up.

love to all

Friday, 11 February 2011

If you can't handle me at my worst, you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best!

A quote from the lovely Marilyn Monroe today!

It's been over a week since I last posted, and its not for lack of having things to say, I am just so tired at the moment I don't know what to do with myself. After about a week of being too tired to do anything other than drag myself to uni (think its my increase in medication) I have realised its probably not going to get much better, so here I am posting on a friday evening having been up since 6 to do the commute to birmingham for my 9-5 lectures, and only back about an hour ago. That's dedication.

One of the main reasons for me doing this blog, although it might not seem like it, is to try and help me to become less self involved and remind myself by reminding others to look for the positive and the inspiration, rather than dwell on the negative. I tell you this because todays quote is actually something I would like to tell a friend after how she has been feeling this week, but I know that what I have to say will benefit me and (hopefully) some other of you out there...

Failure. We all feel we are failing sometimes, or when things get really tough, our failings can seem overwhelming and we begin to DEFINE ourselves as a failure. I can tell you right now the majority of people that suffer from depression or eating disorders are perfectionists by nature. We seek to strike the perfect balance of everything in our lives, to be a perfect friend, a perfect girlfriend/boyfriend, a perfect daughter/son, a perfect mother/father...the list goes on. It is so unrealistic that every relationship in your life will be going well at one particular moment in time, but we berate ourselves for it, and feel that *we* should have been the better friend, its our fault, we failed at our role. And it can be overwhelming, trying to juggle all the relationships in our life in the exact correct way - trust me, its like trying to walk along a knife edge. Let me tell you something though, the people that really love you, the people that really care, they don't think any less of you when you are less than perfect. And those that do get upset with you, those unsupportive friends/mothers/boyfriends...etc that are out there, well, if they can't handle you at your worst, they sure as HELL don't deserve you at your best!

The truth is, the people who really know us, and I mean truly to the core, they see us at our best even when we aren't. Thats how I see you, my lovely friend. I see you as the best version of yourself that I know you are, even when you may not be being what you class as the best version of yourself, the perfect version, the one who is a perfect friend. I don't change my opinion of you because of how you may have behaved in a week/month/year. you could not speak to me for a year and i would not think you failed me as a friend. I would know you needed to prioritise other things. and isn't that what true friendships, which are the basis of any relationship, are about? To not be offended but to innately know that our friendship is not in jeopardy. ever.

so, anybody out there reading, if somebody in your life cannot cope with you when you are the worst version of yourself, as Marilyn says, they certainly do not deserve you when you are the best. no exceptions.


Friday, 4 February 2011

Every Night Has It's Dawn

This quote taken from Poison's 'Every Rose Has It's Thorn' and it's a ray of hope to me right now to be honest. I feel like I am stuck in the night. Did you know that in winter the Arctic has 24 hours of nighttime? That's what my life feels like a bit right now, and as any of you that suffer from depression know, this isn't just the case for me. But 'every night has it's dawn', every winter turns into spring, and every darkness turns to light...I take comfort in the fact that any periods of black depression in our lives must too have an end at some point.

I really like to think of myself as in the nighttime of my day. It provides optimism that soon the darkness will fade. Not that being in a dark period of our lives means that everything is bad. I quote from Stephanie Meyer (naughty I know, having two quite contradicting quotes in one day!) 'Without the night we would never see the stars.' There are definitly stars in our lives that we don't see or fully appreciate until we are in a period of darkness. These can be the obvious - friends and family - but they can also be other methods of comfort. For me I like to write. I perhaps wouldn't write so much if I didn't have so many difficulties, and I know that most of my best poetry has come from some of my lowest points in my life. The dark times of my life have helped me find other hobbies and talents, which to begin with serve as a form of escapism, but in the long run they take on a life of their own! I think its really important to try and remind ourselves that no matter how bad things get, there are always glimmers of hope and positivity in our lives. This week has been one of my worst for a long time, but I have been reminded how amazing and lovely my family and friends are. I have been reminded what my limitations are.

So guys and girls out there, please don't ever give up. I know that we can feel weak, and despairing, and out of fight...but really every night does have its dawn, and so the sun will rise on the day time of our life at some point. We just have to hang on in there, and blindly struggle on until it does. But it will. I can assure you of that.


Thursday, 3 February 2011

Love Thy Neighbour...

Whether you are religious or not, I am sure that the majority (if not all) of you out there are familiar with the commandment from the Old Testament of the Bible 'Love thy neighbour as you love yourself'. The commandment transcends religion and is an attitude adopted by most people; to treat others as you would like to be treated.

Recently, however, I have thinking that maybe 'Love yourself as you love your neighbour' would be more appropriate for someone suffering from mental health issues. My struggles, failings, and weaknesses over the years have resulted in me treating others with more of an open mind, more sensitivity, more compassion and more forgiveness than I could ever have imagined. But I remain unable to treat myself in the same way! We are so hard on ourselves guys, and treat ourselves and our opinions and feelings with so much less respect than if they were a friends'. I have several friends who have had difficulties over the years, and I don't view that as a sign of their personal weakness, like I view my issues as a sign of mine. I see them as strong and resilient...and if they are having a hard few days, I don't berate them or think this equates to them being a failure as a person - I feel sympathy and love and mostly just want to give them a big hug and remind them how wonderful they are. So why when I am having a bad day or a bad week, month or year, do I hate myself for it? Why do I think I *should* be stronger? Why do I think this makes me worthless and that I am a disappointment to myself and everyone around me. Why do I let my difficulties define me?

I have a really close friend who is experiencing some difficulties at the moment. I hate that she is struggling and think that she doesn't deserve it. But I don't see her as anything less than the very best that she can be, even when she isn't that girl. I admire her strength, and her ability to keep fighting. I think she is incredible for everything that she has to endure at the moment and everything that she is accomplishing in spite of it. Yet I get angry at my own friends and family when they tell me they are proud of me. Proud of me for what? It shouldn't be an acheivement to get through a set of university exams, it should be a normality, I should take it in my stride. It shouldn't be an acheivement that I am getting through the weeks, that should be natural. Why does it make me feel so small and such a waste of space that I should be pleased for managing small things?

We are so unforgiving and ready to hate ourselves, that is why. I have begun thinking to myself, how would I feel if the situation was reversed? My friend I mentioned is currently doing her first year of work, and she is basically doing her teacher training and first year of teaching AT THE SAME TIME. I am proud of her and amazed at how well she is coping in spite of everything, but that doesn't mean that I think that is the limit of her capability. Just at this moment in time, under these particular circumstances, she should be pleased with how she is doing. I hate that people are proud of me for getting through a day/week/term, so how can I be proud of her for it? Because when people tell ME they are proud, I assume that they think that this is the best that I can be. And it isn't.

The more I think about it, the more I realise how destructive a self-hating attitude is. If my friend had a bad day, I wouldn't shout at her, I wouldn't insult her, I wouldn't be hard on her. I would show her love and support. So we should try and extend this to how we behave to ourselves when we are less that the person that we want to be. Treat yourself how you would treat your neighbour, and not the other way around! Take time to treat yourself when things go wrong. You DO deserve that bath, that new nail varnish, that evening out. You don't have to punish yourself constantly. Next time you get angry or disappointed or sad for yourself, take a minute to think how you would react to a friend, and try to behave in a similar way towards yourself!


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Let's Try Defying Gravity

Yesterday's post didn't happen, and if I am absolutely honest, today's almost didn't either! Despite it being my birthday today, I am not in a good place at all. I know that we all have different names or descriptions for how our depression feels, and mine is called my black hole. I call it a black hole as I feel exactly like I am being pulled towards the darkness, and the closer I get to the black hole,and the more vulnerable I feel, the more gravity tries to suck me in with all its might, and the more futile my efforts at resistance become. My depression feels like there is nothing on earth I could do to fight it, just as you can't fight gravity. I feel like I am sucked into oblivion and god knows how I ever get out again...

Enter today's quote 'Let's try defying gravity'. The quote is taken from the musical Wicked which tells the story pre Wizard of Oz from the wicked witch's point of view. The musical, and the particular song I am referring to, Defying Gravity, actually have nothing to do with depression. Other than my love of musicals, and the general feel good aspect of this one especially, the words of the song do provide a purpose today. The song is all about being at rock bottom, and having no where to turn, and no other choice, but to try defying gravity, i.e. doing the seemingly impossible. And this, my dear readers, is exactly what I need to do. I need to be able to defy gravity in order to stop myself getting sucked in by my black hole. I understand that the concept is an incredibly difficult one, but it is absolutely not impossible.

So whenever I feel low, I am going to try playing this song on repeat and I really urge you to do the same. Somehow things don't seem so hard with a bit of feel good musicality in the background! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlMBcTGJ4YM
Let's hope it gives me the strength to fight, because fighting my depression really does feel like I am trying to fight gravity: it is relentless, never ending, and exhausting. If i rest but for a moment gravity will suck me down into the black hole again.

P.S Another good song I always find helps me is 'I'm on my way', by the proclaimers, purely for the single lyric 'I'm on my way, from misery to happiness oh yeah', which seems to be permanently a fitting description of my life!